Newly proposed bill in Alabama could lead to assault, murder charges in connection to abortions

WAFF 48's Romario Gardner reporting
Published: May. 10, 2023 at 11:18 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WAFF) - A newly proposed bill could lead to women who get abortions, to face a murder and assault charge in certain situations.

Alabama’s current abortion ban focuses on the physician providing the abortion and not the mother. House Bill 454, also called the Equal Protection Act would change that.

Bill sponsor Representative Ernie Yarbrough believes this bill is essential to give the unborn their rights.

“We believe that nobody should be able, including the parents, nobody shouldn’t be able to take away the life of a baby without due process and equal protection, because that child is a person,” said Rep. Yarbrough.

The bill would allow prosecution of murder for those who choose to get an abortion, but Yarbrough said it isn’t likely due to the burden of proof needed.

This bill would allow duress as a defense in a prosecution for murder, but it would not protect against rape or incest.

“We would like to see justice brought to the person guilty of the crime of rape or incest, but that two wrongs don’t make a right,” said Rep. Yarbrough, “And so we certainly do not want rape or incest to ever, ever happen. But we want to, we want to bring a bill that acknowledges the fact that when that does happen, sadly, we wish that it never did.”

The bill would also expand the definition of “person” to begin at the moment of fertilization.

It would also not be retroactive, for any women who received an abortion prior to the passing of the bill.

Rep. Yarbrough emphasizes the bill is not a means to criminalize women but to serve as a deterrent for abortions.

He said he will also be working toward improving adoption efforts in the future.

Joe Reed with the Alabama Democratic Association believes this proposed bill is a farce.

“The way the Republicans are treating women and kicking them around, if they stop voting for them, they will stop acting crazy,” said Reed.

The bill will is expected to head to the House committee for review.

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